Here In The Calm After The StormMature

It had been five days since the first reported cases of "The Black Dead"

Yet as the sun weakly peered over the horizon on the dawn of the fifth day, those who had the black blood circulating in their veins continued to stumble and hiss and devour whatever wasn't them.

For the first couple of days, the city of Delham had fought gallantly against the dead. The noises and the screams as they struggled against wave after wave of the undead may as well have resembled humanity's last war cries. Yet now less cries were heard, an eerie, frosty silence had befallen the once large and bustling city.

The same could be said about the atmosphere at the top of a flat within the city.

Camden Marshall sat by the window as the sun soared into the sky, the fires burning themselves out, the sooty stench of the fumes still evident in the air. As Camden sniffed and crinkled his nose.

"Stay still" 

The elderly black woman dabbed a wet handkerchief on a large gash across the bald man's cheeks as he flinched slightly. Gritting his teeth, Camden allowed Victoria to try and stop the swelling of his wound.

"They didn't even apologise at breakfast this morning..." Victoria muttered.

Breakfast had been a frosty affair, no one ate at the same time. Oliver looked at him once, and left the room, Stephanie's face didn't break from her scowl, no one seemed to communicate openly. The silence between everyone was raising tension faster than the sun was rising right now.

Camden looked over at the bed.

"He had bruises all over his body the poor boy" Victoria reminded Camden for the millionth time that morning.

Bradley had sulked in bed, refusing to get up saying he felt sick, Victoria treated his bruised neck and discovered many more injures to Bradley's body. She also found him to be rather emaciated. He muttered he didn't like to eat.

"All self inflicted" Victoria noted sadly to Camden.

Ian had pounded on the door demanding to see his son. "Hey, Bradley you're Dad wants to see you, wouldn't you like that?" Camden tried to coax him out of his state by telling him this, Bradley only whimpered slightly and turned away from Camden shrinking into himself. "I can't see him, I'm too Ill" he said while coughing.

Camden had to explain to Ian that Bradley was too Ill to see him, Ian accepted with a nod although tears slid down his cheeks onto his black and white beard. "I'm awfully sorry for last night, I should have just..." he began.

"Don't, Bradley's fine and to be quite frank, it's not your apology I want" Camden uttered thinking darkly of the demonic Oliver he saw last night.

*

"I knew it!" Stephanie was still raging as she and Oliver returned to bed at dusk "I knew none of them were trustworthy!" Their all mad! Their going to get us and Stanley killed!" She fell back onto her pillow as she choked back a sob.

"Hey, come here" Oliver urged, pulling her into a warm embrace, she felt secure in his large arms as he rocked her back and forth. "Mariam agreed with us, everyone else was just scared they'll see sense sooner or later" Oliver muttered.

"Hopefully, I don't want to kill that kid, but his own dad knew and I'm sorry worried about Stanley...I..." she suddenly shot bolt upright.

"Oliver? Where is Stanley!?" She asked in alarm, she couldn't hear her son in the room next to there's. 

*

"... And your dad whacked Quincey across the face!" Rose explained in horror. 

She and Quincey were crouched next too Stanley who was receiving an update of events, as his was curious about the shouting match he heard last night.

"Look, I might blame your parents but I don't blame you kiddo" Quincey had told him the second he had approached Stanley, with Rose in tow.

"It's okay" Stanley said, but he felt uncomfortable his parents had told him sharply last night "Not to hang around with Rose or Bradley anymore" yet Stanley was always one to disobey his parents.

"I don't get why they'd want to kick him out though, I mean, I know his weird but..." Stanley had been shaken by the news of what had happened, he thought the group would be united for his birthday in a week, yet now that didn't seem like the case.

"Hell, if that hadn't have gone down, your prank would have still been talk of this place" Quincey smiled as he slapped a hand on Stanley's back "That prank was legendary, I don't know where you OBE is, but hell you earned one".

Stanley smiled at this,  He and Quincey had been fairly good friends and pranksters since this thing had started, being told to stay away from him was Stanley could never do. Yet it wasn't the same, Stanley found himself timidly laughing at Quincey rather than exchange the usual banter they happened to share.

Before he and Rose left his warning of "Don't let your parents know we've been talking, we don't anymore trouble" only made him feel worse. Like he committed a major sin, and Quincey's show of kindness felt like more like a recruitment into a certain "side" of a war being committed between everyone in the flat.

*

Now Delilah really felt like leaving.

She felt like jumping from the railing, to stop herself from suffering any more than she was already. What she said before was true "What was the point of surviving if you couldn't really live with yourself" Delilah didn't want Stephanie, Mariam or Oliver doing something they wouldn't regret, she didn't want others living like she did.

Staring at the warped faces of the "Black Dead" she didn't know what she regretted more. Philip or her mother.

He seemed to find her once again.

"I swear you always come around here do you like looking at dead people?" Quincey asked curiously, plonking himself next to her.

"They look better than some people in this place" she muttered absent mindedly.

Quincey let a short laugh. "Nice one, mind if I use it sometime?" he asked.

"Knock yourself out" She told him.

As he made himself comfortable, Delilah thought about it should she have started opening up to people? She expressed her opinion last night. Why not again?

"I just wanted to thank you, for backing me up last night" Quincey told her he muttered that last night before he collapsed into bed.

"Yes, I think anyone can agree that killing an eleven year old, is an atrocious act" She said.

"I'm with you on that" He agreed.

Soon, all Delilah heard ringing through her empty head were the hisses of the dead. She felt Quincey rise next to her, she knew he would leave, and she would be left alone. Brooding, living another miserable day.

"What is the point of surviving?" She asked herself.

"Well I need to go seek out Heather to thank her, I'll catch you later"

She heard his footsteps as they moved away, she made up her mind, turning to him she sid clearly "Did you know we called them The Black Dead? At the start."

Quincey turned.

"Well, that's racist" he commented dryly

"It's not as racist as it sounds trust me, that's what the government officials labelled them, before everything went to hell" she told him. His interest was drawn, he was gravitating back towards her and sat down.

"How'd you know all that?" he asked.

"I had a pretty high flying place in the BBC, I knew quite a lot about the latest virus going down why do you think I was sent here? Meant to be my big break" she smiled at him as she stared below "Well, a break and half it turned out to be" she joked, with no humour in her voice.

"So, anything else you know, that you're keeping under wraps, are you like the mastermind, behind this whole zombie apocalypse?" 

Delilah found herself laughing.

"No, sorry to disappoint you, but I do know a few things you'd probably like to know..."

The more she spoke, the better she felt.

Maybe there were still things worth living for. 

The End

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